Three Movies

Nobody • From the writer of John Wick. Has to be good then, right? It was! Bob Odenkirk does a great job, the action scenes are great, and it’s a nice start to a good movie franchise! I did read that this is set in the John Wick universe, and they’ll have hints to that in the next movie.

Unhinged • Look at how similar the movie poster is to Nobody! Doesn’t matter, this is still a good movie. There are a few moments in this that really caught me off guard. The first ten minutes or so is very slow, but once it gets going, the movie runs at full speed for the rest of the film. Russell Crowe does great as a road rage instigator… one should watch this movie simply to add to the reasons never to honk one’s horn!

To Hell and Gone • This was one of those low-budget movies that I picked just for the fun of it. I have a lot of these that I never get to because so many turn out to be a waste of time. But this one wasn’t. Even with a low budget, it looks great and kept my interest. I’m always thinking “what would I do, could I do that?” when watching movies like this.

062621 • Thrift Store Finds

Well, a few weeks after declaring that thrifting wasn’t a thing we were going to do anymore (because there’s no more room for my libraries to grow, and Dad was trying not to buy stuff anyway), we hit four thrifts this week as he was looking for something particular for a certain price. Two things, actually, and we found one of the two. But I’m not going into a thrift and leave behind some good finds! I think we’ll be back on the wagon after this trip!

What a great batch of books, and every single one was half-price! Usually I have to put a bunch of full-price books back, because they put those out in anticipation of Half-Off Saturday. These are all great, but The Battle for North Africa is the one I’m interested in most of all. The campaigns there are a subject I don’t know that much about. I’d be okay reading any of them at any time. That’s the problem with my library, there aren’t any weaker books to weed out.

The Grieg: Lyric Pieces by Leif Ove Andsnes was a nice find, since he’s one of the pianists I collect and actually make a point to listen to.

The two Bach: The Keyboard Concertos discs are items I’ve seen before and wasn’t able to get; I collect Angela Hewett’s recordings but don’t specifically listen to her like I do Hélène Grimaud, but I do listen from time-to-time and always wanted these particular recordings. Amazing that I found them at a thrift!

I have many renditions of Brahms’ A German Requiem, but it was a favorite of my Mom, and an amazing work anyway. Everybody should have a copy.

All of these were only two bucks apiece… and all but Ronin was still in the shrink-wrap! None of these are filler, either… Cliffhanger is one that I re-watched a few years ago, and I’d forgotten how good a movie it was.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I’m not a Star Trek fan, but the originals are things I can watch and enjoy as I grew up with them. (Except Star Trek 5 and 6, my interest stops after #4). The original series is great! ST: TNG, Deep Space Nine and Voyager are really hit-and-miss, and I stopped after a few episodes of Enterprise. Since then I’ve sampled what has come out since, and wow. It’s like every franchise out there, not just Trek, is being run by people who just don’t understand what they are dealing with. They have great music, special effects, acting, props, costumes, design… and there can be great scenes and ideas (Force Awakens‘ Tie Fighter chase of the Millennium Falcon, abandoned Star Destroyer wrecks, for example) but the stories are awful and packed with social politics on top of that. I’ve learned not to get too upset about it as there are far bigger issues to deal with in life, and a lot of other things to be doing than getting all upset that people are ruining movie and television franchises. It’s just the way things are.

Ronin is one that slips through the cracks… it’s actually a really good movie. The car chases are fantastic, and by fantastic, I mean Jade and Bullitt kind of fantastic, not Fast & Furious fantastical. Plus, De Niro. I watched this one tonight!

USS Indianapolis is one of those movies like Greyhound that I was just waiting for to arrive at a good price, except I’d forgotten about it. I know that the actual ship USS Indianapolis has an amazing story, I have a few books about it, but I really have no idea what I’m going to be seeing. Looking forward to watching this one soon!

Jason Bourne leaves only one Bourne movie left to finish the five-movie set for me… I need #4 (the one without Matt Damon) and I’ll be good. I last watched the first three movies a few years ago, great series! Interesting how it is an action/spy kind of movie, like John Wick or The Equalizer (Not the new series with ‘Queen Latifah’, I’m talking about the two movies with Denzel Washington) yet, like those, it is it’s own thing entirely. (The new Equalizer is one of those franchises that isn’t being rebooted very well. Wow. It is so bad!) I watched the original Equalizer with Edward Woodward back in the day, and that is one of my favorites from back in the day that I still don’t have on physical media.

Frasier, again.

I watched Frasier when it originally aired back in the day, recording it on VHS every week. Eventually, I pieced together the entire eleven-year run on DVD from local used media stores and watched them all again, and then perhaps about five years ago, went through them yet again. And then last year. This sounds like a lot, but it comes out to once every five years.

I’ve recently been under-the-weather, and at the same time, the NHL playoffs have been on cable, something I stopped watching entirely back in October. I needed (and this is part of why I’m not watching cable anymore) to flip to something during the numerous commercial breaks, and Frasier was the only thing even vaguely appealing, even though I watched it last year. I got hooked again, as I had to stop watching the commercial-ridden, logo-obstructed, soft quasi-HD offering and instead started up my DVD copy of the show.

Which is the beauty of physical media; I can watch this whenever I want, commercial free. Although the video quality isn’t that great by today’s standards, it is better than the current cable option.

Going through and watching my favorite shows again on DVD/Blu-ray has been a good time, and it feels great to have the control over what I’m watching, not wasting time flipping channels, recording, going through menus, etc.

I have a buddy who is a big Cheers fan; but he won’t even try Frasier, much less Wings. Which is too bad, because Frasier isn’t just a continuation of Cheers, it keeps getting better since it is mostly the same people involved, and they have all of that accumulated experience making these shows.

And while I’m not a writer or an actor, I can tell that the writing on this show is so much better than everything that is new these days, and that is before Kelsey Grammar’s fantastic portrayal of Frasier Crane with all of his eccentricities. There’s nobody like him, or his character. Actually, the show has double the Frasier Crane, since his brother Niles is so much the same, yet different enough to compliment the character of Frasier and make Frasier more interesting.

It’s just a great show. And I’m getting so much mileage out of my DVDs. Most physical media, if ever used at all, gets watched once and then becomes part of a collection or library, forever, because the thrill of the hunt for new things to watch totally wastes what is right in front of a person; something they know they like, that would be fun to watch again, but no. Gotta go find some new stuff.

When at thrift stores, looking at the DVDs, it is really interesting to see how many of them are still in their shrink-wrap, some of them decades old and never used. Most DVD’s at thrifts are in perfect condition; there are plenty of scratched-up ones, but the majority are like new. I often see great series like 24 or Frasier there, a season for just $1.50-$3.00. So much great entertainment for practically nothing, but they just sit there because people overlook them in the search for the newest thing, and usually that newest thing is quite sub-standard in comparison.

Anyway, I’m having a blast re-watching Frasier yet again, and I highly recommend not just this show, but your own favorite show, whatever it is, that you already own; don’t let it just sit around, give it another watch! Because if you don’t, you might as well give it to the local thrift.

050921 • Movies / Television

Jurassic Park III • All of these movies are such fun (except for the teenager escaping a raptor by using gymnastics in the second one… ugh.) This one is that last Blu-ray copy I needed to have them all on Blu-ray, and it took forever. I was always coming across copies of every other one in the series except this one!

Iron Man 3 • Just like the above (and also a #3) it took literally years to find this Blu-ray at a thrift!

Glory • This is just a great movie: and I say this without any virtue-signaling, which is so automatic these days. I have always liked this movie for the same reasons that I like other good war movies.

The Drew Carey Show • Six selected episodes, I don’t have any others on disc as it is. And this is signed by Craig Ferguson!

031127 • Thrift Store Finds

These are actually my buys from April 4th and 11th.

I was in line at the 88th & Sheridan ARC when a mother with her husband and young kid asked me to step back six feet, and informed me about the markings on the floor. That was a total invitation for a nice conversation that wouldn’t go well. I just stepped back, being the peacemaker and also knowing that people being this righteous, bossy and afraid aren’t going to be open to other thoughts on this topic.

It’s a crime movie with narration, like Goodfellas or Casino. Not as good, but a nice watch. A great thing about thrift store Blu-rays is that a lot of them have an unused code for the digital copy, so my digital library grows as a bonus! This Blu-ray was only $2.50!
I got Rambo 4 last week, and now all three of the first ones for only seven bucks! I watched these last year on older DVDs and they were all quite grainy… not as bad as watching on a CRT, but still bad. So this will be a good upgrade.

032027 • Thrift Store Finds

If it has anything about the A-10 Warthog in it, I’m going to pick it up!
Not only is this a first-hand account, but it’s from the perspective of a Soviet pilot. I have no figures to back this up, but I think there are fewer of these accounts, and I’ve read that due to how the common citizen/serf was educated back then, there wasn’t a lot of things written by the common solder. Which is something considering the percentage of the population that fought in this war.
The movie that was done on this, The Way Back, I watched a few years ago, and it was very good. Looking forward to reading the book here, that it was based on!
Like the above book on the Soviet pilot, is this book!
This is a 2018 book with nothing but big photos… of World War II locations. And a steal at three dollars!
Just another good-looking book for my library!
I like how they did the cover after a poster from the time period.
First-person accounts were most of what I found today, which is great!
More first-person accounts!
I watched this movie in the theatre, it was my first Rambo film. Not the best one to start with! It is brutal, and only near the end when John Rambo starts doing his thing does one really find anything to really like about this film. They make the bad guys, very bad, they show how and why they are bad… and then the good guy takes care of business. What is disturbing is how the brutality of this film is probably accurate to actual events in history we can’t comprehend simply by reading books. To an extent, a good thing to not know much about.

032021 • Thrift Store Finds

Liszt: Le Preludes: I bought two 50-CD collections brand-new of Deutsche Grammophon The Originals a few years ago, but this wasn’t in it. Re-mastered works, there’s something about a piece that is worth re-mastering that I find justifies checking it out. However, that doesn’t mean that something re-mastered is good, but still. Gives me a reason.

Schubert – Schumann: Symphonies #3 – Günter Wand: Somewhat of a standard generic buy, however, at the same time, could serve as the introduction to new symphonies I might like. Can’t argue that Schubert and Schumann don’t have a lot of great work.

Michael Douglas: Double Feature: Black Rain / Fatal Attraction: Black Rain is very much the number one movie I look for at thrifts. Pretty much every movie I’ve ever liked, I have at the very least found on DVD, except Black Rain. Its taken more than a decade of looking to find it because I figured that, well, it’s a Ridley Scott movie, that did well at the box office, it stars Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia, etc. If there are endless copies of every other Hollywood movie, this has to be in there with them, right? Nope. Never, ever see it. Until today. I watched it right away, it’s been decades. I actually did try to watch this on On Demand, (or maybe it was Hulu) and halfway through, when I went back to finish it, it was gone. For whatever reason, it just isn’t a movie that is commonly available, regardless of box office numbers and the talent involved. Now the only DVDs I have to look for are odd things I don’t expect, such as the Debussy Preludes by Latsabidze DVD.

Fatal Attraction, I’ll give a shot because it’s Michael Douglas. My favorite movies with him are Black Rain, The Game, Falling Down, Disclosure, and Wall Street. I actually bought and watched him in The Sentinel with Keifer Sutherland a few weeks ago.

The Tudors: I pass on these as I see them often, but this week I finally gave in as I don’t know when I’m going to join up to a streaming service long enough to watch it again. The final season, which I never see, was available last week, before I decided this week to start putting the series together. I’ve seen this before, but it’s been a while. Johnathan Rhys Meyers is absolutely fantastic in his role, so that, along with a great supporting cast including Sam Neill and Henry Cavill, along with others familiar as their careers have progressed, that alone makes it a good watch. Rhys Meyers was just in a season or two of Vikings, which reminded me of how much I like this actor.

The second big reason I am going to watch this again is that this is one of those series or movies that has such a great take on the times, the sets, costumes, etc. Accurate or not, they give a decent idea of what it was like back then.

Latsabidze Plays Debussy Preludes, Book 2: This was still in the shrink-wrap! It’s quite rare to find a classical dvd like this at a thrift, so this was my second-best find of the day!

Jack Higgins: The Eagle Has Landed / The Eagle Has Flown / Night of the Fox: I have a three-books-in-one like this of Tom Clancy’s works. There’s something about a big compilation for two dollars, highly acclaimed on a topic I find so interesting. The first two pages that I read while deciding to buy it were pretty good, so hey. Two bucks.

Breaking Bad: Season Five: I have all of these on either Blu-ray or DVD, it’s one of those situations where if I can make the upgrade from Blu-ray to DVD, I have to do it as I don’t see a lot of Blu-ray at thrifts. That aren’t stolen from the case, that is. What a fantastic series, one of the, if not the best, ever.

The Borne Trilogy: Again, I have this on DVD, and watched it about three years ago, but a Blu-Ray upgrade was right there. The fourth one that didn’t have Matt Damon was good too, but I don’t have either that or the fifth one that came out a few years ago.

Winter Army: This survived the week at the Arvada ARC, it was there last week but at full-price, I couldn’t pull the trigger. Why did nobody buy this?